I pull in between two white parallel lines of a parking spot head first. I open the car door and my face gets hit by a cool, breeze of a mid-May day tinted with the scent of hot dogs from a nearby barbeque. My two cousins, Angela, at the age of eleven, and Katie, at six, hop out of the back seat at the same time, grab their bags, and meet me at the back of my red Jeep. We crunch across the gravel of the parking lot, heading towards the open field of half-dead grass and geese poop.
We slowly make our way down the slope of the hill until it flattens out, keeping our eyes down and tiptoeing around every piece of geese poop we see. We cross the open field until we make it to the playground part of the farm. We find a sunny area in the grass that surrounds the playground and plop our belongings down.
My cousins kick off their flip-flops making them fly in all directions. One lands in the sand, two of them land in the grass inches from where I stand, and one lands on the wooden perimeter that separates the grass from the sand, teetering, threatening from falling either way. They run for the swings, shrieking, with Angela a couple of feet in front of Katie. I gather up their shoes and sit down into the grass next to our belongings, instantly wishing that I brought a blanket to sit on.
The still dried, dead grass pokes the back of my thighs and the back of my knees. I settle in as best as I can.
A light breeze passes by, blowing my faded purple hair across my face while getting a faint whiff of my strawberry shampoo. I flick it back over my shoulder. My eyes shift around the playground. I locate a child digging like a dog in the sand right next to the metal, rusty monkey bars. A little girl who looks about five or six-years-old with beach blonde hair, eyes as blue as the Caribbean Sea, and freckles that seem as if the sun-kissed her cheeks straddles the sand and digs her hands into the ground, pushing the sand out from under her legs, spraying any child who runs behind her.
Moments later, she stops digging and just stares down. Her eyes grow in amazement and her jaw drops. She reaches into the hole that she made, clenches her fist around her prize, and pulls out a $5 bill. The blue-eyed girl stares at her clenched fist while her open jaw slowly turns into a smile, revealing two missing teeth front and center.
A faint, familiar tune starts to play behind me. The blue-eyed girl whips her head up in the direction of the music, and then back down at her fist. She looks up again, then back down at her found prize once more. Her smile returns as she realizes what her $5 bill means. My eyes follow her, all of a sudden moving body, kicking sand back behind her as her tiny feet dig into the ground as hard and as fast as they can. She takes a leap over the wooden perimeter until her bare feet land on the grass. She keeps running off the grass and onto the concrete path towards the appearing ice cream truck, waving her $5 bill over her head.
I turn my head back to the playground, but my eyes never make it back to the sight of it because my cousins with sweeter-than-normal smiles plastered onto their faces stand two inches away from me, blocking my view. I tilt my head towards their faces, raising my hand to my forehead to shade my eyes from the sun that beats down on us.
Their eyes, almost simultaneously, dart over my head towards the location of the ice cream truck, then back to me. I turn around, look at the ice cream truck, sigh, and start to stand. Knowing what this means, my cousins take off and arrive on the ever-growing line of the ice cream truck within seconds. As I drag my feet over to where my cousins stand, I reach into my pocket and pull out all the money that I am carrying, counting the amount, and wishing that I could trade lives with the blue-eyed girl.